Xergi has just commissioned the first X-chopper® in the USA. In Europe, the technology is used primarily for breaking down deep litter, but in the biogas plant Hometown Bioenergy in Minnesota, the unit will pretreat by-products from the production of canned sweetcorn.
In mid-August, a new X-chopper® was installed at Hometown Bioenergy in the state of Minnesota in the USA. The X-chopper® will pretreat residual biomass from the production of sweetcorn, so that it can be transformed into biogas. The residual biomass consists primarily of the corncob as well as the leaves, which grow around the cob.
"The X-chopper® finely chops the leaves so that they can be pumped through the biogas plant and feed the bacteria which produces the biogas," explains Sales Manager Michael Kjølner Hansen from Xergi.
Long, strong fibres were a challenge
Hometown Bioenergy has been using this type of biomass for biogas production for a long time.
However, the leaves have some extremely long, strong fibres, which have meant that up until now, pretreatment technologies have had a hard time chopping them up. This has resulted in breakdowns, and as this process involves such complex technologies, it has led to considerable service and repair costs.
Additionally, the leaves have not been chopped up finely enough. The long fibres have thus caused problems by sticking in the pumps and pipes in the biogas plant.
"Our preliminary studies show that the X-chopper® can handle the leaves, and the first week's production has been successful," says Michael Kjølner Hansen.
The advantage of the X-chopper® is that it is an effective and yet simple and robust technology, which does not require any comprehensive or complicated servicing. Based on this, he anticipates that Hometown Bioenergy could be an important showcase for the X-chopper® on the US market.
Big potential in USA
"There is no doubt that there is big potential for our technology on the US market, which is why we naturally hope that the X-chopper® at Hometown Bioenergy will be an important showcase for us," says Michael Kjølner Hansen.
The X-chopper® has been installed at several European biogas plants. For more than one year, French biogas plant, Tiper Méthanisation has operated at a continuous production of approx. 140 tonnes of biomass a day.
Sales Manager Michael Kjølner Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org
, tel +45 30 94 86 32